New to BYC.... Chicken with Slow / Sour Crop?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by PrincessPollo, Mar 22, 2016.

  1. PrincessPollo

    PrincessPollo Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 29, 2015
    Michigan
    I have a flock of 5, one year old hens and Gypsy, One of my SLW, has had a golf ball sized crop the last 2 mornings. It is not rock hard, but doesn't feel water filled. It is kinda squishy. I haven't noticed any foul odor or regurgitation. She is still acting normal eating and pooping. Sometimes its solid, some times runny. She did poop quite a bit last night, as I went to the coop after dark to note where she was perched, to check the poop this a.m. We have been able to let them free range here in West Michigan since the snow is gone. ALL of their bellies have been bulging from all the goodies they didn't get over the winter. I feed organic layer pellets, veggie scraps, and the occasional scrambled egg for a treat. They sometimes get into the leftover seeds from the bird feeder. I separated her yesterday and only fed her some mashed and watery layer pellets with plain activia and gave her a scrambled egg. Her crop was smaller this a.m. than yesterday, but it seems like it should have emptied. Also did some crop massage. I cant really feel anything defined in there. I'm just looking for some guidance on what to do. Separating her yesterday seemed to have stressed her and the flock out a bit, so I left her in the run with the others with only pellets, grit, oyster shell and fresh water. I use hay / Straw as bedding, less now that it is warming up. This chicken has had a tumultuous first year, this is her 3rd home, hence the name. She is the one on the far right:) Thanks in advance!

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  2. PrincessPollo

    PrincessPollo Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 29, 2015
    Michigan
    UPDATE: Gypsy has been to the vet 3 times having her crop flushed. First flush the vet got a bunch of grass out of her. The other times not much of anything came out. He even scoped her for free and was unable to identify what was in her crop. He did say that the bacteria in the crop was normal. She is still eating, drinking, and pooping normally. She still wakes up with an un-empty crop though. Her crop is much bigger (than my other chicken) and it swings when she runs. I think it might be time for a crop bra? Any suggestions? Patterns? My attempts at making one have failed miserably. I'm not sure if I will get any replies out of this but thought I would at least put it out there and it might ring a bell for someone else.
    Thanks,
    Megan
     
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Is she normally a heavy hen who eats a lot? Can you try caging her in with the other chickens, and just giving her water with electrolytes and some plain yogurt for 24 hours. Then during that time massage her crop 4 or more times during the day to see if it empties? Does the crop feel doughy?
     
  4. PrincessPollo

    PrincessPollo Out Of The Brooder

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    1
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    Jul 29, 2015
    Michigan
    Hi,

    Thanks for the reply. Gypsy is my biggest hen who is lowest in the pecking order. I took her under my wing after the rest of her flock was attacked by a feral cat (She was the only survivor). Pretty gutsy move for a first time chicken owner but after a few months She was accepted. She spent the day at the vet yesterday where they monitored her. The vet said that "the hard lump" he had felt previously has passed and that with all the flushing, her crop may have been stretched further. As soon as I noticed her un-empty crop the first morning, I put her in a dog kennel still in view of the rest of the flock and did water only, yogurt and that little bit of scrambled egg, as well as crop massage multiple times, her crop was still not fully emptied the next day even with having just a little food. I wouldn't say that her crop feels doughy...just kind of squishy compared to my other hens who don't have the sagging "bust" area. The vet doesn't want to see her back until 2 weeks from now. She is still happy and doing normal chicken things so, maybe I just monitor? Is her crop just stretched out and slow? Does she just need support?
    Thanks,
    Megan
     
  5. PrincessPollo

    PrincessPollo Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 29, 2015
    Michigan
    [​IMG]

    I tried to get a pic of the "sag" Chickens are so hard to photograph...
     
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    I can see the saggy crop well. Crops can get stretched out from overeating. Some buy crop bras to hold in the crop to prevent the overloading. I have some who are are big eaters, but just let them be as they are. My only 2 crop problems in 5 years were in chickens over the last couple of weeks who were not overweight, and had seemed very healthy.Here are some links for crop bras and pendulous crop:
    http://www.hensaver.com/Crop-Bra.html
    https://poultrykeeper.com/digestive-system-problems/pendulous-crop/
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/817190/crop-bra-for-hens
     
  7. PrincessPollo

    PrincessPollo Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 29, 2015
    Michigan
    Thanks, Eggcessive! I think I am going to order a crop bra for her. Hopefully some support will help things flow smoothly. I appreciate the reading material as well!
     
  8. huntingirl

    huntingirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 11, 2016
    Hi. I think my RIR hen has the same issue. She always has a HUGE crop. She eats very fast and a lot more than the others too. Is this the same?
     
  9. PrincessPollo

    PrincessPollo Out Of The Brooder

    27
    1
    24
    Jul 29, 2015
    Michigan
    Hi,
    I am no chicken expert, but Gypsy's crop is always sagging, no matter what time of day. Does your RIR wake up with an empty crop first thing in the morning? Gypsy does seem to be a bit more gluttonous than my other hens. She is the first one to come running (and jiggling) to the veggie scrap bowl or the treat can...I think the overeating has stretched the crop out (along with the crop flushes) and I'm going to order that girl a bra :)
     
  10. huntingirl

    huntingirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 11, 2016
    Most of the time her crop is always full
     

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